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P&PDL Picture of the Week

Insufficient Root Mass - Spruce

Karen Rane, Botany & Plant Pathology Department, and Bruno Moser, Horticulture Department

This spruce sample was submitted to the PPDL by a nursery. The plants had been purchased by the nursery in April of 2001, and installed in several different landscapes. Each tree showed needle loss and tip dieback just after new growth began in late spring. Several trees turned completely brown. Upon examination of the root ball after washing the soil off of the roots, it became apparent that the symptoms were due to insufficient root mass. As you can see in the close-up photo of the root system, several large roots had been severed and there were very few fine roots

Click on the small image to view a larger image.

Spruce with Insufficient Root Mass
Spuce Tree with Insufficient Root Mass

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Last updated: 2 December 2001/tlm.
The Plant & Pest Diagnostic Laboratory at Purdue University.